In late November we traveled to the SMX Social Media Marketing Conference in Las Vegas to get the latest on social media marketing from experts and join in on the discussion. Session topics ranged from boosting engagement to social analytics (see our thoughts on some free tools) to social media ads and more. Here are five presentations from the conference that offered some great insight and key takeaways.
1. Trend Visual: Where Social Media is Headed
Matt Siltala, president and founder of Avalaunch Media, kicked off his session with a truly impressive statistic: six billion photos are uploaded each month to the web across all social channels. Furthermore, photo content sees higher engagement rates—50 percent higher than other types of content, 10 times more shares and seven times more likes. Unsurprisingly, then, popular image discovery platform Pinterest has seen 4,000 percent growth in the last year alone. Siltala’s tips for Pinterest included uploading your own images with text overlays to make them eye-grabbing, using vertical images, which have been proven to gain more repins, and showing products in context as opposed to just featuring product shots on a white background. Our resident data visualization expert, Brittany Dow, recently shared her thoughts on visual storytelling as well.
2. Measure Up
Without measurement there is little marketers can do to persuade clients or management to invest in social media. Vice president of Social Technologies at Rio SEO, Ben Straley, outlined the importance of tracking and measuring content so brands and marketers can consistently prove success and deliver ROI. Ben’s “peanut butter and chocolate” winning combination of social marketing is Killer Content and Sweet Rewards – these two ingredients will always yield sharing and referrals. Since measuring these “conversions” can be difficult, Straley emphasized the importance of data management tools such as Rio SEO, Portent and aimClear to help in measurement and identifying key benchmarks (as well as understanding the audience).
3. Create A Thriving Social Media Editorial Calendar
Karianne Stinson, director at MediaBrands Publishing, presented her thoughts and insights on the importance of a strong editorial social media calendar. She stressed the importance of planning all social media marketing efforts (not just blog posts), setting goals and metrics and knowing your social audience. Additionally, she touched on how content needs to be catered individually for each social platform—just because a content piece resonates well on Twitter does not guarantee the same type of content will perform well on platforms such as Pinterest or Facebook. We agree. Check out her presentation for sample goals and metrics, an example of dayparting (analyzing the performance of social posts by day of week, time of day, etc.) and more.
4. Boost Engagement
Sometimes following the rules and best practices of social media won’t raise eyebrows or improve a brand’s bottom line. Founder and chief imagination officer of V3 Integrated Marketing, Shelly Kramer, discussed techniques on Facebook to gain fans and bolster community engagement, particularly in B2B situations. She discussed how there’s approximately 3.2MM pieces of content posted every minute on Facebook and how that makes it difficult for brands to break through the clutter. A thorough competitive analysis, detailed content strategy and measurement are just a few of of her recommendations for improving engagement when the traditional rules aren’t working.
5. Capture Your Audience through Video
Video is everywhere and people are paying attention – ComScore recently reported 44 billion online video views in June 2013. Anthony Troli, head brand consultant at Pop Shorts discussed how to capture audience attention through Vine and Instagram and engage potential customers in these visual spaces. Although the type of content that performs well on Vine can vary by brand and campaign, Troli shared that Vines which incorporate comedy, animals, “how-to’s,” contests and pranks have seen great success.
Did you attend SMX Las Vegas? Share your highlights in the comments.
This post was written by Konrad Palubicki and Blake Abel.